19 July 2009

Life in a Different Frame

There have been a lot of adjustments for my family over the last few months. I am learning to feel safe in my own skin, with my own thoughts - and also evaluate the portion of the things that went wrong in my marriage that were mine. Nobody should ever be bullied, but sometimes when people grow up in sick childhoods, they seek that which is familiar - even participate in creating the toxic environment. I am working on the part of the problem that was solely mine.
I am learning that it is alright to love someone that you might not be able to live with, however permanent or temporary that may be. The question has come up more than once recently whether or not I'm single - and I answer emphatically no. I really don't know what I am, but for now I am content to just take life day by day and embrace the healing that has been extended to me. Every healthy thought, every sane action and reaction is a gift from God.
The landlords where I have been renting have decided to put their house on the market which means the kids and I will be moving again. Everyone talks about how the house won't sell -but I am the one left carrying the fear that my children and I will be given a 30 day notice and have nowhere to go. It was a good opportunity for me to practice clarifying boundaries, when a realtor was brought through my living quarters without forewarning.
My children have been learning autonomy in many areas. I was amazed this week when Kendra made "the best" peach pie I have ever tasted with no instruction whatsoever other than a note left on the table that said "MAKE PEACH PIE". I didn't expect she would actually do it. She also started a new job that she really wanted last week. Kaitlyn has been working part-time all summer at a local day care and arranging her own transportation, has an interview this coming week for an internship at the museum in the local library so she can get her feet wet, and is generally my right arm. Kullen was my hero last night when I heard a mouse in the kitchen. I have no idea how to set a mousetrap. He spent a few minutes researching it on YouTube, and had us all set up. Sometimes I wonder if the kids will look back on this time in life as one of the best or one of the most difficult. It seems that there isn't always a big difference in the two. Often the trials are the times when we're forced to dig in, and the best of us shows up. It seems that this is giving them the opportunity to shine. We all need each other and we are learning how to share our strengths and forgive each other our weaknesses.
I'm learning to love life in a different frame, I just needed time for my eyes to adjust.

09 July 2009

Michael Jackson Remembered

Like much of the world around me, I have been thinking about Michael Jackson. I remember the time he set his hair on fire during the filming of a Pepsi ad. I also remember the tight kinky perm my cousin Shawna got that we called the "Michael Jackson hair".
It is interesting as I think over the different aspects of how his music impacted my life - as someone else said he was sort of the "fabric of our lives", singing in the background at our school dances, entertaining us on MTV, his life ever being consumed for our amusement. and it makes me so sad. To hear people recount how he would be giddy with excitement when he could be disguised well enough to walk down the street like a normal person. I know a lot of people think that being rich was enough of a reward to compensate for all he gave up as a celebrity, but I disagree. Other than his family, did he ever know that anyone truly loved him without ulterior motives? I think that this drove his interest in children and eventually becoming a father.
I've heard people say he was a "freak" and a "pervert". If he was, then I suggest that he was one of our making. Was he ever given a chance to be normal? Did he ever get to live any semblance of a regular life? If he were not a celebrity, would he be gone today? I think he was here and is gone because we used him up.

Maya Angelou's summed it up beautifully in her tribute "We Had Him"

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.

In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.

Though we are many, each of us is achingly alone, piercingly alone.

Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.

He came to us from the creator, trailing creativity in abundance.

Despite the anguish, his life was sheathed in mother love, family love, and survived and did more than that.

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.

We had him, beautiful, delighting our eyes.

His hat, aslant over his brow, and took a pose on his toes for all of us.

And we laughed and stomped our feet for him.

We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing. He gave us all he had been given.

Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana's Black Star Square.

In Johannesburg and Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama, and Birmingham, England

We are missing Michael.

But we do know we had him, and we are the world.

08 July 2009

No Time to Blog

Life is moving at a breakneck pace. I literally didn't have one minute to relax yesterday. From the moment I left work it was go, go, go. Once I got home at 11 pm I had to make my "healthy" lunch. Real food, good food requires so much more prep time, but it is worth it. I had started to wake every morning with a blood-sugar crash that felt much like a hangover and in just a couple of days with the simple diet change of removing white sugar and white flour from my diet, I already feel sooooo much better.
I have decided that working moms are my heroes. Having been a "stay at home mom" for many, many years, I KNOW that all moms are working moms. However, there is a great juggling act that goes on for moms that work full-time outside the home, one that I am only beginning to understand. Every day I am proud of myself for all that I do - the sense of accomplishment and the spirit of doing whatever is necessary - and simultaneously I feel guilt for all that I cannot do and the abbreviated amount of time that I spend with my kids. But day by day we are making it, one day at a time.

04 July 2009

One is the Loneliest Number

Some days I feel it more than others. It is so hard to measure, or know what brings it on, but I miss him. You don't spend 20 years with someone without some indelible impression being made on your psyche like a footprint that says "I was here". Every minute was not the toxic mixture our union had become toward the end.
Suddenly I feel more alone than ever. Even when I'm in the company of friends, that sense of being significant, the half of the whole that being pulled apart leaves the other diminished. Two are left where one used to be, both with broken hearts.
The anger of all that was stolen has carried me, but now it seems be giving way to grief. The joy of being "home" also lifted me above the heaviness for a time, but real life has to resume. All holidays present opportunities for grief to surface, even Independence Day. Family gatherings, cook-outs, barbecues - just sitting on the outer rim uninvited. And yet being invited is equally as painful. Seeing so many people - even the friends who you know have had similar marital struggles as your own - all basking in the contentment of their relationships is a gnawing feeling in the hollow pit of your stomach.
Tonight the kids want me to take them to see fireworks so they can meet up with a group of their friends. We might do that. We were also invited to a church picnic that today I just can't bring myself to do. Sometimes it is less lonely alone.
I'm wishing for an ordinary Saturday.

03 July 2009

The Question Without an Answer

WHY? What about me didn't deserve to be cared for, protected, loved? I don't understand - sometimes life feels like swimming in a sea of people who all seem to have life jackets but nobody has one for me - I'm just adrift, getting more and more tired, and each person I swim up to refuses to let me hold on.
This is me in the natural - the insecurities that I wrestle with - the fear, abandonment and rejection that are palpable at times. God is reminding me of His love, but today I am having trouble accessing it, feeling it, knowing it in my heart of hearts. I don't need any answers - just wanted to share this in case one day you are feeling this way too - so you know you are not alone.
Papa, pour your love on me today.

02 July 2009

Let Go of the Cheese

Life has been pretty crazy around here lately. The return to work full-time after being a homeschool mom for so many years, but always working part-time doing something from home to help make ends meet - has been a transition for sure. My job at Walmart prepared me for the first step out of the house, like a boot camp of sorts without the full time hours.
I have to say that I.love.my.job. Seriously. I actually get up in the morning looking forward to going to work. I feel productive, purposeful, accomplished. I work in an environment that supports me in my efforts to keep my kids at home - and recognizes this as my choice as a parent. I get to talk to other homeschooling parents and support them in their choices, and offer some tangible help. My co-workers are some of the most amazing people with a wide variety of personalities. They each make the day better in their own unique ways. We also have opportunities twice a week to pray together. I couldn't ask for a better place to work.
This transition in our lives has led to a lot of changes. The kids are taking on a lot of the household responsibilities, including the cooking. I love to cook. It has been hard for me to let go of this, but it has been really nice to see what the kids can do. I can put a meal in the crock pot in the mornings, but I only do that occasionally.
These life changes have dictated a lot of standard reconciliation. I have had to reevaluate what meant the most to me, what I actually had control of, and what I did and did not have the time to do. One of the things I noticed recently that had changed in our lives was cheese. About ten years ago, during the Pampered Chef era in my life, I stopped buying shredded cheese because it was covered in cellulose - a flour like substance that kept it from sticking together. Freshly shredded cheese is also more flavorful. It is just one of the things I had to let go of - and it indicates to me a healthy response to all of the changes I have encountered. Most of them go way deeper than cheese. I had all these plans and dreams for my life, that haven't necessarily died but taken on a different shape. I have learned to let go of the cheese.

01 July 2009

Facebook Feed Test

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